Typographic Lexicon

POSTSCRIPT: A technology developed by Adobe Systems. Developed primarily for printing on laser printers and is used primarily for desktop publishing. It is an object-oriented language that treats images and fonts and objects rather than bitmaps. Also called outline fonts because the outline is of each character is clearly defined and scalable fonts because their size can be adjusted with Postscript commands. (webopedia.com)

OPEN TYPE: A fairly newer font format developed originally by Microsoft and later joined by Adobe. It is a standard for digital fonts. Several advantages including single file structure, cross-platform compatibility, and advanced typographic functionality. Comes in both Postscript and True Type. (fontshop.com)

TYPEFACE: An artistic collection of alphanumeric symbols usually including letters, numerals, punctuation, symbols all for multiple languages. It is usually grouped into families and contains the various fonts of italic, bold, condensed, and etcetera. (fontshop.com)

CAP-HEIGHT: The height from the baseline to the uppercase letters. (fontshop.com)

FONT: A group of letters, numbers, punctuation, and other symbols used in terms of text.  Font is often used interchangeably with typeface. However, font refers to the physicality, while typeface refers to the design. (fontshop.com)

GLYPH: A single character in a font or typeface. (designorati.com)

CONNOTATION: The idea or feeling typography gives the viewer. (howdesign.com)

DENOTATION: The literal meaning of a word. (howdesign.com)

MODERN TYPE: Type family developed in the late 18th through 19th century. Characters based more on the engraver tool rather than the pen. Has extreme contract between thick and thin strokes, hairline serifs without bracketing, small x-height, and vertical stress in rounded strokes. (britannica.com and graphicdesign.spokanefalls.edu)

TRANSITIONAL TYPE: Typefaces that bridge Old Style and the Modern type. Characteristics include: greater contrast between thick and thin strokes, wider brackets serifs with flat bases, larger x-height, vertical stress in rounded strokes, the height of capitals matches that of the ascenders, and numbers than are cap-height and consistent in size. (graphicdesign.spokanefalls.edu)

HUMANIST TYPE: Developed in the 15th/16th centuries. Designed to imitate the calligraphic handwriting of Italian Renaissance scholars. Characterisitcs include: strong bracketed serifs, small x-height, moderate contrast between strokes, urgent and angled strokes. (www.typography1st.com)

SLAB SERIF: Also known as Egyptian. Born from the Industrial Revolution and used primarily for commercial purposes. Characteristics include: minimal variation of thick and think strokes, heavy serifs with squared ends, and large x-heights. (graphicdesign.spokanefalls.edu)

SANS SERIF: A category of typefaces that does not have serifs (the small lines at the ends of characters). (webopedia.com)


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